Energy & Green Tech

A new water-splitting technique to generate clean hydrogen

Electrolytic hydrogen production entails the generation of hydrogen from water using electrical power, which should ideally come from renewable power sources such as sunlight and wind. Although this method of producing hydrogen ...

Energy & Green Tech

Improving solar cell efficiency with a bucket of water

Looking at your cell phone, you realize the battery is low, which means you have to make another long walk into town to pay money to charge the device. By the time you get home, it's getting dark. You light the kerosene lamp ...

Energy & Green Tech

These solar panels pull in water vapor to grow crops in the desert

Using a unique hydrogel, scientists in Saudi Arabia created a solar-driven system that successfully grows spinach by using water drawn from the air while producing electricity. The proof-of-concept design, described March ...

Engineering

New hybrid device can both capture and store solar energy

Researchers from the University of Houston have reported a new device that can both efficiently capture solar energy and store it until it is needed, offering promise for applications ranging from power generation to distillation ...

page 1 from 40

Solar energy

Solar energy is the radiant light and heat from the Sun that has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation along with secondary solar resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass account for most of the available renewable energy on Earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used.

Solar power provides electrical generation by means of heat engines or photovoltaics. Once converted, its uses are limited only by human ingenuity. A partial list of solar applications includes space heating and cooling through solar architecture, potable water via distillation and disinfection, daylighting, hot water, thermal energy for cooking, and high temperature process heat for industrial purposes.

Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute sunlight. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors (with electrical or mechanical equipment) to convert sunlight into useful outputs. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA